A Scottsdale man made quite the legal jump from being investigated on accusations of child molestation to being charged with conspiracy to commit murder, when police say he tried to have potential witnesses against him killed.
Scottsdale police say 59-year-old Ira Joe Anderson is alleged to have molested his stepdaughter for the last four years. Police say when Anderson caught word of the charges, he skipped town for Carson City, Nevada, where he then contacted "associates," whom he asked to help him kill the victim and two other adult witnesses in the case.
Scottsdale police Sergeant Mark Clark says the alleged molestation began when the victim was 13 and went on for four years until the girl came forward last month.
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Clark says family members contacted police about the plot, not the associates.
"Right now, we're trying to determine the level of involvement of the people [Anderson] recruited," Clark says. "This is a sensitive case because it involves someone who tried to have three people killed."
Anderson returned to Valley from Nevada and was arrested on Sunday at an Extended Stay Deluxe hotel in Scottsdale.
Clark says Anderson has been charged with one count of conspiracy to commit murder, and while no charges have been filed in the molestation case, it still under investigation.